When clowns cross the line

Gayana Parsegova, Opinion Editor

Picture this: The year is 1999 and you are  five   years old. Your parents decide to take you to your very first circus! Of course you aren’t sure what to expect but you are just a wound-up, bundle of excitement. Finally, you get there and that’s when you meet them. The clowns. You’re petrified by their disturbing make-up, the questionable ensembles, their vibrant wigs, the fact that they can perfectly fit into a tiny car and their red noses. What on earth is the purpose of those atrocious noses?!

Imagine if your childhood fear came to life. What if the clowns you would see around the ring of the circus were roaming around freely on the streets, causing mayhem in your city?

Fast forward to 2016. This is exactly what’s happening today.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the clown sightings began in South Carolina earlier in the month of October. As time continued to progress, they made their way to Southern California, terrorizing a number of citizens.

Is CSUSM next? What would you do if a clown approached you?

These clowns have been chasing after people, scaring and threatening them too. They claim that they are only pulling pranks, that this is all for simple fun. However, are we as citizens allowed to stand up for ourselves against these so called “playful attacks?” Will we be the ones prosecuted if we choose to defend ourselves from a clown who is questionably pranking us?

Hypothetically, let’s say a clown approaches you. He comes from behind when you least expect it and scares you. A complete stranger on the street, who is evidently a clown has the right to do this because it’s all for fun!

However, let’s say this same person, dressed as a clown, is a thief who approaches you from behind. He frightens you and suddenly grabs your purse, running away with it. A clown could pull the same stunt and he wouldn’t be at fault because he could make the claim that, “Oh no! This was all just for fun! I didn’t mean any harm!”

A man robbing you in a clown mask isn’t all too different than a man robbing you in a ski-mask. The outward appearance may be different but the motive is the same.

If a clown approaches you, what will you do?

Will you run away in fear and let them get away with their potential crime of harassment and shame? Or will you stand up for yourself and do something about it?

Today we’re attacked by people dressed as clowns, tomorrow those same people will be dressed as unicorns breaking and entering in your home, making the claim, “Yeah this is just a joke, don’t worry. We aren’t actually trying to hurt you or steal your belongings. That would be silly!”

Ladies and gentleman, be aware. Make sure to have a safe Halloween.

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos